First Aid: 5 Basic Skills You Should Know

This article is devoted to basic first aid skills. You will get to know what to do if a person faints, has a bleeding or got a finger frostbitten.

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The first aid is a complex of urgent steps directed onto a person’s life rescue. Accidence, a sudden attack, food poisoning – all these situations need competent first aid.

The ability to give first aid is a simple but very important skill. In some extreme emergency it can save someone’s life. Learn the following basic skills of first aid.

The first aid algorithm

In order to give first aid in a right way it is important to follow the following chain of actions:

  • Provide safety for yourself, sufferers and people surround you (for instance, take a sufferer from a burning car).
  • Check signs of life (pulse, breathing and pupils reaction on light) and consciousness. For breathing check you need to throw back a sufferer’s head, bend over his or her mouth and nose and try to listen or feel breathing; for “listening” his/her pulse you need to put your finger-pads to a sufferer’s carotid artery; for checking consciousness you should take a sufferer’s shoulders, shake him/her carefully and ask any question.
  • Call professionals.
  • Provide first aid. Depending on a type of situations it can be:
  1. restoration of respiratory tract permeability;
  2. cardiopulmonary reanimation;
  3. arrest of bleeding and others measures.
  • Provide physical and physical comfort, wait for doctors coming.
Signs of life: breathing
Signs of life: pulse
Signs of life: reaction of pupils on light

Artificial respiration

Artificial respiration of lungs is the act of assisting or stimulating respiration, a metabolic process referring to the overall exchange of gases in the body by pulmonary ventilation, external respiration, and internal respiration.

Artificial ventilation is referred to elementary reanimation actions. There exist various forms of AV. The most effective is mouth-to mouth and mouth-to nose resuscitation.

Mouth-to mouth resuscitation:

  1. Make sure the airway is clear.
  2. Turn a sufferer’s head slightly and remove slime, blood and foreign bodies from a mouth.
  3. Tilt a head holding a neck with one hand.
  4. Do not change a head’s position in case of spine trauma!
  5. Grip a sufferer’s nose with the help of a thumb and an index finger. Blow two quick, shallow breaths. Watch for the chest to rise to insure you are doing everything in the right way.
Clean the airways
Tilt a head
Perform artificial respiration

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

In case a patient does not have both breathing and pulse you should perform a cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in cardiac arrest. It is referred to elementary reanimation actions.

Caution! Do not perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation if a patient has pulse.

How to make cardiopulmonary resuscitation:

  1. Put a patient on a firm surface (exclude beds and other soft surfaces). Define the location of injured xiphoid cartilage. A xiphoid cartilage is the shortest and the narrowest part of a breast bone.

    Find a xiphoid cartilage

  2. Measure 2-4 cm from the xiphoid cartilage – this will be a place for compression.
  3. Put your palm on a compression place. Your thumb should be turned toward a sufferer’s chin or stomach. Put another palm over the first one.Put your palm on a compression placePut your palm on a compression place
  4. Perform rhythmic pressing with the help of palms, do not involve fingers.

    Arms position

  5. Do it strongly, smoothly and vertically with the frequency of 100-110 pressings a minute. A patient’s chest should bend on 3-4 cm.
Perform strong and rhythmic pushes of the chest

Heimlich maneuver

In case when food or some foreign bodies get into a patient’s trachea it is clogged (partially or fully) and a person chokes.

Airway cleaning is performed with the help of the Heimlich maneuver:

  1. Stand behind a sufferer.
  2. Encompass him or her with your arms, making a “lock”, above a navel, under a costal margin.

    Encompass a patient from behind under a costal margin

  3. Press a stomach strongly with the help of energetic arms bending.

    Press on a patient’s stomach strongly

  4. Repeat the maneuver for several times until the airways are free.
If a person is unconscious, sit on his/her thighs and push costal margins with both arms


Arrest of bleeding is a set of measures aimed on loss of blood stop. I mean the outside hemorrhage, of course. Depending on a type of vessel we distinguish several types of bleedings:

  • capillary,
  • venous,
  • arterial.

Capillary bleeding stop is performed by applying an aseptic dressing.

In case of venous bleeding you have to apply a pressure bandage. For this reason you should perform a tamponade of a wound: put gauze on the wound, lay several layers of cotton wool on gauze and bandage the wound.

In order to stop arterial hemorrhage nip an artery: press the artery strongly with your fingers or fist to the liable bone formation.

In case of limb injuries the best method to stop bleeding is tourniquet application:

  1. Put a tourniquet on clothes or a soft lining above a wound.

    Put a tourniquet on clothes or a soft lining

  2. Tighten a tourniquet and check the vessel pulsation – bleeding should end and the skin around the wound should turn pale.

    Tighten a tourniquet

  3. Put a dressing on the wound.

    Put a dressing

  4. Write the accurate time of tourniquet application.
  5. You can leave the tourniquet for 1 hour but not more.

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